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No One Needed to Know, by D. G. Driver, opens when Heidi (who so wishes she’d been named something more fitting, like “Storm”), and her brother, Donald, engage in a make-believe battle on a “boat” set that sits in the midst of their local park. Right off, the reader learns something interesting about Heidi who, in response to Donald’s question about whether he’d stopped the bad guy, tells him, “No.” She can’t explain why her “impulse was always to turn him down,” yet it was. Soon, the reader discovers that Donald is not your “typical” 16-year old. Rather, his learning disability means that Heidi, his younger sister, is already ahead of him in some regards. Her awareness of that fact is growing in her pre-teen years, and with it comes her frustration with his behavior—behavior she cannot fully understand. Seeking to engage in more “grown-up” ventures, new troubles take hold for Heidi, as she discovers that Donald is bullied. But in her attempts to help him, she too becomes a victim of harassment. Fortunately for the both of them, Heidi eventually provides the means for building a bridge toward understanding--for herself and for others.
D.G. Driver offers middle grade readers a lesson in bullying in her award-winning, No One Needed to Know. Having been bullied herself as a girl—because she had a “differently-abled” brother—Driver quickly gets to the heart of the matter. When someone stands out as “different,” often others may not know how to speak, what questions to ask, or even how to act. Driver’s story illustrates for both the young and the not-so-young, that bullying is never acceptable, and that a better understanding will likely bring about better results.